Original Paper

Political Behavior

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 437-454

First online:

Voice in the Classroom: How an Open Classroom Climate Fosters Political Engagement Among Adolescents

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Does civics instruction have an impact on the political engagement of adolescents? If so, how? Analysis of data from CIVED, a major study of civic education conducted in 1999, finds that an open classroom climate has a positive impact on adolescents’ civic knowledge and appreciation of political conflict, even upon controlling for numerous individual, classroom, school, and district characteristics. Furthermore, an open classroom environment fosters young people’s intention to be an informed voter. Results further show that exposure to an open classroom climate at school can partially compensate for the disadvantages of young people with low socioeconomic status.


Civic engagement Civic education Political socialization